Thursday, May 18, 2006

Heart and Seoul

The RCA released a press release about R. Avraham Horovitz, an army chaplain who was honored at the recent RCA convention. I was there for the presentation and heard R. Horovitz speak. His speech was so inspiring that several times during his address he received standing ovations. An irony he told about his life is that his father was one of the founders of Yeshiva Devar Yerushalayim. So there he was, as a young boy in the 70s, learning Torah with some hippies who had left the US to avoid serving in the army. Decades later, some of those hippies are roshei yeshiva and he, the rosh yeshiva's son, is serving in the US military!

Interestingly, he said that when he saw (and spoke with) President Bush, he recited the blessing on seeing a king, something on which there is a dispute (see this post). President Bush said to him, "For God and country, but God first".

R. Horovitz is currently stationed in one of the most dangerous places in the world, the demilitarized zone between North and South Korea. He had previously been stationed in Iraq and even visited the ruins of Nebuchadnezzar's palace (and recited the appropriate blessing for that event).

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